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Subject: Tactical WWII game that isn't a lifestyle commitment. rss

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Daniel
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I really want to like Squad leader. I play it with my cousin on occasion and enjoy it somewhat but it is so mentally exhausting attempting to learn. I've been research CC:E, CoH:AtB, and anything else that is even remotely similar. Any thoughts on something that has been terribly beat to death I'm sure would be appreciated. I like on CoH has large counters that seem to minimize the "tweezer" and sorting stacks of small counters between thumb and forefinger vibe I get from ASL.
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Kellen Kooistra
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I would highly recommend CoH, definitely doesn't take a lifestyle commitment to enjoy it. Many like CC:E, but I found CoH to be more enjoyable. CoH has fairly easy to learn rules, lots of scenarios, and vehicles. I would say it is far easier than SL, and, as mentioned, doesn't have a lot of high counter stacks. It also lacks the sense of chaos present in CC:E.
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David Scolari
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I've never played any of those, but Tide of Iron might fit the bill. I've played it several times and once you know the rules, you can get through a game in 2-3 hours (depending on the scenario). The rules are well laid out and of course it has little cool looking plastic minis.
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Ralph Ferrari
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Lock n Load is a good tactical game that covers WWII, and has some modern era modules. You can download a Demo of the game from the Lock n Load website: http://www.locknloadgame.com/_store/download.asp?Category=11 You can see if you like the system before having to commit to buying anything. The Band of Heroes Module is the WWII Demo, Forgotten Heroes is Vietnam, and Ring of Hills is the Falkslands War.
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Kurt Weihs
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I like Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes. It's very reminiscent of what Squad Leader was when it first hit the market in the late '70's before it became weighed down with all of the extra rules and exceptions to the exceptions.

The extra modules give a wide range of theaters that you can game (Noville, Not One Step Back, Dark July, etc.). The modules add extra units, maps, and scenarios while keeping the addition of new rules to a minimum.

I really like BoH's turn order system. Instead of the more traditional systems where each player moves and fights with all of their units in each turn, BoH has players leap-frogging activations (ie player 1 moves and fights, then player 2, then back to 1, etc). Whenever a unit attacks another one both players roll dice in an opposed roll to determine the effect of the attack.

FWIW - I like CoH and CC:E also, Each of the three games is amazingly different from the others, yet they each have something to add to the tactical genre of WW2 gaming.
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Steve Sallot
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It depends on if you are looking for a infantry based or armored based game (ie infantry combat or armored combat).

Overall, I think SL is one of the best games out there, in terms of simplicity, realism, playability, etc... always a favorite. A few years ago, I had the guts to pull it out at a convention and had a huge crowd all reminiscing...

But it depends on your environment for instance if you are casual gamer trying to get your friends to play key factors are playability; speed of play; simplicity; and CHROME, ie. "how cool it looks," and then realism. But if you have some dedicated interested realism quickly starts to move towards the forefront. Based on your post I assume you are looking for a good balance between realism and playability.

SL is still an excellent choice because you can more complexity if you choose. One of the best games to truly model the effects of morale and leaders on the battlefield. Own it and ASL w/ 100% original expansions. I dont play ASL though--just too much.

Conflict of Heros, is really good because its so interactive and pretty realistic (note there are some quirks--but game designers do things for reason, not because they are lazy) and not that complex but overwhelming for a new gamer (so many choices). However, I found the game very polarizing in the community--either you love it or hate it. I like it alot. Own it as well.

Tide of Iron, is a simplistic game with a lot of chrome. The figures are nice, the components are clean and sharp. But it is not very realistic but has all the basic features of good tactical game--opportunity fire, morale rules, close assault. I own it and all expansions

Combat Commander: No experience here, but looks very good and I have heard nothing but good things about it from my friends.

Advanced Tobruk System is really neat and is a step up from SL in terms of complexity. It plays relatively well. Its not a bad choice either, but definetly not a game I recommend for a beginner or as a "gateway" game. It could be overwhelmning.


Note, none of these games (dont know about CC) are really good integrating or simulating armored combat. It my experience, its based on the time/distance relationship between infantry and tanks (distance covered and effective ranges)

Anyways, an assume armored game is PANZER by Yaquinto, but reprinted by Excaliber Games. Another option is going the miniature route. There are plenty of good miniature rules on line for free and trip the hobby store or toy store should be able to yield some inexpensive painted minatures. A very good and simple WWII system is PANZERTRUPPEN. It cost me $10, but that just covered the printing cost since they guy basically wrote the rules and printed the system himself. BTW its a professional job with a bound softback book with pull out templates.



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John H
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I own CoH and Memoir '44, but not Tide of Iron. My friend that I play CoH with has played ToI and says he prefers CoH much more for its depth and simplicity of execution. He compares ToI to an upgrade to Memoir. So I mention (and enjoy CaC games) Memoir here only for comparison purposes since ToI has been mentioned in this list.

I also recommend CoH earlier this week to a friend out in AZ, who used to be a big ASL fan and it looking for something more than Memoir.
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Pone McPoneface
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You might find these worthy to check out and see if they might fit your needs;

Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege- A company level game that I believe is easy to play.

Panzerblitz: Hill of Death- Essentially a remake of the Avalon Hill classic.

Advanced Tobruk System Basic Game II: Streets of Stalingrad or Advanced Tobruk System Basic Game 1a: Screaming Eagles are both a basic streamlined version of the Advanced Tobruk System which is squad level combat.

Coming out later this year, or maybe beginning of 2011, is Unpublished Prototype which looks to be a fun and fast squad level game from Compass Games.

Hope you find the right game!
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Martin Gallo
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The Gamers/MMP' TCS system might work for you. The scale is still tactical but you are dealing with companies rather than squads.
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todd mewborn
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I would also like to add Valor and Victory. http://www.valorandvictory.com/
Nice looking components, fun to play, and it's free!
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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I will chime in again for the CoH system, I prefer/own it over CC:E.

If your going to get into CoH I reccomend skipping AtB for right now and just pick up Storms of Steel Kursk, its the most recent rule sets and things have been changed for the better from what Ive heard. The cards/components are of better quality than of AtB, and the counters have some cosmetic changes that make them easier to use/learn.

According to the designer when AtB gets reprinted they'll update it to the most recent rules, quality, and counters. Thats when I'll be picking up AtB.
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Jim Dietz
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Always be careful to keep Squad Leader distinct from Advanced Squad Leader. They are very different games.

Squad Leader shouldn't be that brain-taxing, especially if you play the first few scenarios (the Stalingrad scenarios 1,2,3 are my favorite anyways) and the original scenarios should all play in under a couple hours.

ASL?? --Too much for me.
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David Janik-Jones
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I'll back up Todd and highly recommend Barry's brilliant Valor & Victory. Think of it as ASL "Lite" in some sense ... fun to play, gameplay mechanics work, tactical, Western and Eastern Front, grea community online here, and free.

If you want even smaller scale skirmish stuff, I'd even more highly recommend DVGs utterly fantastic Frontline: D-Day. I can not praise this new (card-based) tactical WW2 system highly enough. I have found playing it fun, rewarding, tense, and simply brilliant. Play mid-sized games in 90 minutes from open box to put it away.
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Doug Ratz
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I have really liked Squad Leader for the feel it gives of being on the field. I played my first game of CoH AtB this week, and it gave me the same feel as Squad Leader without the same effort. I have no experience with Combat Commander nor Lock and Load, but they look like good games and systems that provide the fun without the lifetime commitment.
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Harald Torvatn
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I found Combat Commander Europe to be both easier to learn and more fun than Conflict of Heroes.

And if you do not like stacks: In CC:E, there are enough space in the hexes to allow the units to be placed beside each other, not on top of each other.
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Paul Amala
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The replies are spot on. Here is my take:

1) if you don't care for vehicles and tanks, try CC:E

2) if you want tanks too, try one of the CoH games (use the latest rules though; the new activation rules are superior to the original).

3) if you want programmed learning, stick with SL (only! - don't get into the expansions unless you want the added complexity, which I take it you don't).

My personal preference would be the CoH games.

Enjoy!
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Brian Bennett
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I agree with kellen. I just recently started playing Conflict of Heroes and IMHO it prefectly fits what you are looking for. I am the same as you, I want a good tactical game but I don't want tweezers and a lifestyle commitment! Give it a try!
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j b Goodwin

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tmewborn wrote:
I would also like to add Valor and Victory. http://www.valorandvictory.com/
Nice looking components, fun to play, and it's free!


Agreed. Great game, not a lifestyle or pension-buster!
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p55carroll
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For more pros and cons of these games (and more choices too), have a look at this Geeklist.
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Daniel
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So if leaning towards CoH at this point, is it better to wait for a reprint of AtB or going in on SoS?
 
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Colin Hunter
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martimer wrote:
The Gamers/MMP' TCS system might work for you. The scale is still tactical but you are dealing with companies rather than squads.
This is probably my favourite tactical system, GD 42 is excellent, but it is Platoon level not company level.
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Don Whitney
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Sturmkraehe wrote:
I like Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes. It's very reminiscent of what Squad Leader was when it first hit the market in the late '70's before it became weighed down with all of the extra rules and exceptions to the exceptions.


Exactly my feelings about the game as well. I was a huge fan of the 77 edition of Squad Leader and used to do 'all nighters' with it back in the 80's. Lock 'n' Load is the first WW II boardgame that's captured that same degree of fun for me. I have Advanced Squad Leader, but I've only played it once and find it's just a bit too complex to be bothered with it. I agree with others that ASL is a very different game than SL.

On that note I'll 4th Lock'n'Load: Band of Heroes
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